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Sunday 07 April 2013

On this day: Arteta deals blow to Man City's title hopes

In our series looking at Premier League history, defeat at Arsenal appears fatal to City's title hopes

  • Mikel Arteta strikes Arsenal's winning goal past Joe Hart of Manchester City

  • Mario Balotelli apologises to Alex Song after his crude challenge

  • Balotelli is nonetheless dismissed after picking up a second yellow card in the match

  • Arteta holds off a challenge from former Arsenal team-mate Samir Nasri

  • City fans refuse to shed tears following their disappointing defeat at The Emirates Stadium

  • Roberto Mancini offers a rueful smile but he would have the last laugh at the season's end rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

On this day: 8 April 2012 Arsenal 1-0 Manchester City

Mikel Arteta conjured a late winner to condemn Manchester City to a narrow defeat at the Emirates Stadium and strike a savage blow to their title prospects.

The Spaniard rifled in a low drive from 25 yards with just three minutes remaining to secure a victory that left Man City eight points behind rivals Manchester United with six matches left to play.

"It is not over. There are six games to go; 18 points. Never say never in football."
Roberto Mancini

Arsenal had three times come close to scoring before Arteta's winner with Robin van Persie sending two headers against the woodwork, and Joe Hart tipping a Theo Walcott effort on to the post.

But Arteta's late goal secured an eighth win in nine Barclays Premier League matches for the third-placed Gunners - while City's miserable afternoon was complete as Mario Balotelli was sent off for a second yellow card in the dying minutes.

While conceding that defeat had dented their title prospects City manager. Roberto Mancini insisted his side could still beat the odds to claim their first Barclays Premier League title.

"No, it's not [over]," said the Italian. "It's clear now that it's very difficult, but I believe we can still do it. There are six games to go; 18 points. Never say never in football.”

Mancini's optimism was not misplaced, as City won all six of their remaining fixtures to claw back the deficit and complete the most dramatic title victory in the history of the Barclays Premier League with a last-gasp win over Queens Park Rangers on the final day of the season.

Arsenal, meanwhile, held on to third place and qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the 15th season in succession.

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Key Points

  • looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A piece of action from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember a goal from a Spaniard that appeared to have ended Manchester City's title aspirations